Cliffbee.com: Kup Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Kup
Series: Generation 1
Allegiance: Autobot
Function: Warrior
Alternate Mode: Futuristic Truck



TRUCK MODE
Height: 5cm Length: 13cm Width: 6cm

   An aqua truck that's been variously described as a dump truck, pick up truck and cargo truck. It's difficult to pin down exactly what Kup is meant to be, since he's a futuristic model and doesn't bear any close semblance to any of these truck types (although "Kup" is meant to be taken from "Pickup", according to Stryker). Judging by the size and shape of his wrap-around windshield, though, it's safe to call him a truck. The back two thirds of the truck are a light aqua with grey skirting and the front third is a darker, painted die cast, aqua, with a white painted windshield. The rear section is a tray, with the rear fenders holding a pine green floor in place. He's unlike any truck ever produced, which makes Kup a Transformer that's instantly recognisable. The greens and grey work well together, with good supporting colours.

   Kup's front tyres are black rubber with aqua hubcaps. The hubcaps don't actually spin as he rolls, since they're the anchors for the shoulders in robot mode. His rear wheels are hidden inside the rear fenders and can be either pewter coloured die cast metal or black plastic, depending on which version you have. There's a rubsign indent on the forward sloping roof, behind the windshield.

   It's impossible to talk about accuracy of course, but it's always bothered me that this truck has no front facade - instead there's a gap below the front inside which his arms are stowed. While it's low enough to not ruin Kup's vehicle mode, it does rob him of headlights. There are various spots where his seams don't quite line up, too, although I can believe that these are simply features of the truck.

   Kup rolls as well as any other G1 toy - not so well. If you have the standard version, that's it for the play value. If you have the Targetmaster, there'll be a mount for Recoil's gun mode on the tray, allowing you to arm Kup.

   I've always found this mode a little dull - but maybe that's me. The colours work and it has a character all it's own, but aside from the gap at front there aren't any glaring flaws with this truck mode.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Swing the arms down from inside the cabin and rotate them out, which will stow his front tyre. Flip up the entire front half, push in the rear fenders (legs) to form his groin. Flip back the light aqua roof to reveal his head, position his arms, slide down his feet and give him gun if you wish.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 15.5cm Width: 7cm

   Still aqua and grey, Kup's chest is the darker die cast aqua section, while his groin and upper arms are light aqua. His forearms, shoulders, legs and head are grey while the white windshield now sits on his chest. Kup has a light aqua painted face with blue eyes - it's very faithful to his face from the cartoon/movie. Again, this is a tasteful colour scheme and the colours work well together.

   Anyone who's seen Transformers: The Movie (let's face it - if you haven't, you'd probably have stopped reading this review by now) will know Kup's meant to be the "old" Autobot - he'd be the closest thing the Autobots have to a grumpy old man. The face has lines, which give him a mature look, even if Transformers are really unlikely to have elastin and whatnot in their skin. The colours - especially the aqua - are very 1950s, which helps make him look older - both because these shades are rarely used nowadays and because aqua cars haven't been done for about 30 years. I have a feeling the aqua's dating effect was a deliberate choice - it's good to see the designer was thinking this character through.

   His proportions are fairly good, and for the time so is his poseability. The legs don't move at all, but the shoulders rotate and he has hinges at the shoulders and elbows giving him sideways movement. His wrists also rotate, so the arm articulation is great for a G1 cartoon era toy. His head can wiggle backwards and forwards a little, although I'm not sure why they went with this joint since it doesn't really achieve much and isn't part of the transform.

   The better of Kup's two modes, the best thing about Kup's robot mode is that it really conveys the age of the character. The colours work aesthetically, the arm articulation is great and the facial sculpt is good.

VARIATIONS

   The original Kups had metal rear wheels, small fist holes and no mounting hole. It sold with a aqua pistol and came without Recoil. The next version was similar to the original, except with plastic tyres. The Targetmaster lost the aqua pistol, gained Recoil and the mount. It had larger holes in it's fists. I don't have the Targetmaster, in case you're wondering why I haven't covered Recoil. The Targetmaster version was reissued in 2005 (packed with Wheelie), featuring a modified normal handgun. The eHobby exclusive Orion Pax is a repaint of the reissue.

OVERALL

   Since he's a core G1 character, any fan of the G1 comic or cartoon will most likely want to grab Kup. In Australia at least, he's one of the most common G1 toys on the secondary market - so he's fairly inexpensive even now. With a unique vehicle mode and a well thought out robot mode, Kup's value for money without any real flaws - 7/10

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